Uruguay to Legalize Same-Sex Civil Unions
Lawmakers in Uruguay have approved legislation that will allow same-sex and heterosexual couples to form civil unions after living together for at least five years, it was reported yesterday.
"Under the law, couples will be granted rights related to social security payments, pensions, inheritance and parenting. To gain these cohabitation rights, couples must register the relationship with authorities. They also will be able to register the end of a union. Gay civil unions are allowed in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires and in Mexico's capital and in Coahuila state. Uruguay's law would be the first nationwide measure. Gay marriage would remain illegal in Uruguay, a small South American country known for its secular streak."
Said left-wing politician Edgardo Ortuno: "This recognition of the legal status of couples ... recognizes the legal status of homosexual couples, which gives it a completely new dimension."